Neil's post on our trip to Butterley on Sunday nicely captures a flavour of the day.
We've been planning to head out to the place for quite some time: we had liked the idea of attending Indie Tracks in 2008, but it just isn't practical to attend a wedding in the West Midlands one day and hike back across the mids to a music festival for the Sunday (I'm too tired these days!)
Still, we'd already booked ourselves for a day at the music festival this year, so we thought we best check out the location.
What a delight! Staffed by enthusiastic people doing everything from manning the shop and buffet tills to sprucing up engine parts that could look irretrievably lost, from stoking up the coal-powered miniature railway (I felt like I was in Wallace and Gromit!) to pruning the verges, everyone gets stuck in. The gricers may be out in number when the big trains are preparing to move between stations, but there is something undeniably attractive about the heavy engineering of pre-WWII trains that is sorrily lacking in modern machinery. The compartments call to mind Agatha Christie mysteries and the sight of steam must thrill even the hardest heart (even if this was an English Electric Weekend, the Duchess of Sutherland was still on show to pump out some good old-fashioned smoke into a brilliant blue summer sky).
We also rode the narrow-gauge Golden Valley Light Railway (the 60SD364 "Campbells" Simplex).
Delightful! Some photographs to follow.